Faith Daily | 18 August 2021
PRAYER of the DAY - PENTECOST APBA p572
you have given your only Son
to be for us both a sacrifice for sin
and also an example of godly life:
give us grace that we may always thankfully receive
the benefits of his sacrifice,
and also daily endeavour
to follow the blessed steps of his most holy life;
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: Matthew 20: 1-16a
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2After agreeing with the laborers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. 3When he went out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace; 4and he said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went. 5When he went out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same. 6And about five o’clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, ‘Why are you standing here idle all day?’ 7They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard.’ 8When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.’ 9When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage. 10Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage. 11And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, 12saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ 13But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? 14Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. 15Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ 16So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: Penny Graham
Jesus likens the kingdom of Heaven to the generosity of a landowner, who hires workers at various times during the day & then surprisingly pays the last hired with the same wage as those hired first.
This is the parable of the of the workers in the vineyard. This parable continues Jesus' teaching about discipleship & entering the kingdom. There are 3 (three) lessons of this parable being : The first one being, God is never unfair. Secondly, He is very generous & Thirdly, All of his disciples are fundamentally equal in his sight.
The reversal of order in which the workers are paid, enables those who worked longer, see how much those who worked less were getting paid. The full day workers expected to receive more than the 'Denarius' they were originally promised, so they 'grumbled ' against the landowner when they did not get it.
A ' Denarius ' is the minimum day's wage. Many agricultural workers, were day workers that were hoping each day someone would hire them to work on a nearby farm. If there was a bumper crop & bad weather, this required a fast harvest, a farmer would need quite a bit of extra help on a given day. No specific amount is promised to these partial day workers other than 'whatever is right'.
This parable ends with the same 2(two)part saying "that the last will be first & the first will be last ". Only the order of the parts have been reversed to correspond to the order of payment in this story. In reality, because all the workers are paid the same, they all wind up being paid equally.
FINAL PRAYER: – Attributed to St Patrick from An Iona Prayer Book
I bind unto myself today
the power of God to hold and lead;
his eye to watch, his might to stay,
his ear to harden to my need;
the wisdom of my God to teach,
his hand to guide, his shield to ward,
the word of God to give me speech,
his heavenly host to be my guard.